Meet the abortion doctors who travel thousands of miles just to do their jobs

The quiet heroes who fight the good fight for reproductive justice by showing up to work every day

Published December 13, 2013 9:39PM (EST)

   (Fibonacci Blue via Flickr Creative Commons)
(Fibonacci Blue via Flickr Creative Commons)

Abortion regulations intended to shutter clinics and delay or deny women access to basic medical care have taken a terrible toll on women's health and fundamental rights in 2013, but as Kat Stoeffel at the Cut points out, there are many, many people out there who work very, very hard to ensure that women continue to get the care they need.

In a short but thoughtful roundup of six abortion doctors and the distances they travel to practice medicine, Stoeffel reminds us that while things look dire -- and as the fight for reproductive justice continues -- there are some quiet heroes fighting the good fight just by showing up to work every day.

Dr. Clara Taylor regularly travels more than a 1,000 miles to practice at clinics in two states. Upon her arrival, she wears a mask to conceal her identity from antiabortion extremists from Operation Rescue, a group that regularly posts photos of abortion providers and is linked to the murder of George Tiller.

Dr. Susan Wicklund traveled similar distances for years while working in clinics across the Midwest, regularly facing death threats and other harassment from antiabortion protesters. But even with her own struggles, she remained focused on the patients she served, as she told the New Yorker, “Across the country there are many more clinics that have closed and fewer physicians providing abortions. Every year, there are more and more roadblocks for patients.”

It's moving stuff, and you can read the rest of their stories here.

By Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at

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Abortion Care Abortion Rights Reproductive Justice Reproductive Rights